I'm a dick, today
I'm 38, in great health, and fitter than average. I have a great job at a genuinely caring company that's a 10 minute walk from my home. I have a great wife who's understanding, loves me more than I deserve, and shares my obsession with liberal politics, music, motorcycle, bicycle and rally car racing, and likes beer at least as much as I do. We own a big house in a good neighborhood that we bought for a song before the market boomed, two cars, three motorcycles and five bicycles. My job pays me more than my parents ever made put together, more than I can possibly claim to need, and my wife makes almost as much as I do. I have many hobbies and can afford to do them with whatever quality of tools/equipment I choose, and thanks to the reasonable demands and liberal vacation policies of my job, I have some time to do them. My parents are still together and both alive and healthy, I have a good relationship with my sister. I like my in-laws a lot so when they visit it's easy and fun. Most of my closest friends live within 10 blocks and I see them often.
In short, I have everything I could possibly need or even want. I've been the luckiest motherfucker on the planet for at least the last 10 years, maybe longer--maybe my whole life.
And yet I still sometimes forget how good I have it and whine about my life. I lose sight of the big picture and feel sorry for myself that the current administration is running the country into the ground, or that I have to take blood pressure pills, or that my feet hurt all the time, and bitch and whine.
So anyway, I just thought I'd take a moment to reflect on how fortunate I've been, and re-resolve to do more to spread my good fortune. I also wanted to take a moment and thank those people out there who aren't nearly as well-off as I am, who spend their time and money helping others--I can give lots of money to charity or volunteer some of my fairly copious free time to helping others, but it'll never mean as much as the sacrifices made by those who have less to give in the first place.
Do I feel guilty? That good ol' WASP guilt? Hell no--I've worked hard, and made my own luck in a lot of instances. But I do feel a responsibility. A responsibility to do more than just sit back saying, "Wow, I'm a lucky bastard, ain't I?" A responsibility to tell myself, however often I have to, that it's not enough to say, "somebody ought to do something."
It's gonna be an uphill slog, I reckon, because I'm an ungrateful bastard at heart, just like the rest of us. But if I ever want to stop being a dick, I gotta try.